The House of Representatives has directed the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), to suspend the planned use of the National Identity Number (NIN) in the registration of candidates for its Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
This is as it mandated its Committee on Tertiary Education and Services and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to identify challenges in capturing Nigerians, with a view to tackling same, including increased funding if necessary.
The directive is contained in a motion sponsored by Hon. Zainab Gimba wherein she argued that the planned use of the NIN as generated by NIMC for the registration of candidates was too sudden, and may lead to denial of several Nigerians the opportunity to seek admissions into tertiary institutions.
Gimba explained that her call was necessitated by the need to carry out adequate sensitization, as well as for the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to create more registration centres, especially in the nation’s remote localities for easier access.
She urged that JAMB delay implementation of the policy until 2021, in order to allow more time and better awareness for prospective candidates. “Younger Nigerians and minors constitute the larger number of those yet to be captured by NIMC mainly due to the prior registration criteria which captured only persons aged 18 and above.”
The lawmaker noted that registration for the 2020 UTME is billed to commence in December 2019 and examinations to commence March 20th, 2020. This means intending candidates have between November and January (three months) to register with NIMC, and subsequently get registered for the UTME.
In his contribution, Hon. Yusuf Gagdi argued that majority of the candidates seeking admission into tertiary institutions suffer to get money for registration and subjecting them to obtain NIN would amount to increasing their hardship.
“There are students that go through hell to buy JAMB forms. If you therefore ask them to go and process NIN before getting registered, you will be unfair to them. I will suggest that JAMB should suspend this policy until the NIMC is able to capture at least 80 percent of Nigerians”, he stated.
Also, Hon. Da’u Magaji noted that it would be insensitive to subject candidates for UMTE to such stress noting that using the NIN as criteria to register for JAMB would affect students from rural communities.
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